For years, Kelley McKissack of Wiley, Texas, struggled with infertility. After having three miscarriages, McKissack turned to her mother, 54-year-old Tracey Thompson, who agreed to be a surrogate for her daughter and her husband, Aaron McKissack.
Through in vitro fertilization, the couple was left with four viable embryos. That tissue was then implanted into Thompson, who was able to carry Tracey McKissack until she was born on Jan. 6 at The Medical Center of Plano. Baby Kelcey, whose name is a cross between Tracey and Kelley, weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces when she was born via cesarean section.
Thompson was seven years past menopause when she agreed to carry Kelcey, but OB-GYN Dr. Joseph Leveno said she had “a great pregnancy.”
Because older women are more likely to experience complications during pregnancy, Thompson was heavily monitored.
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“Pregnancy is a heavy load on a woman,” said Dr. Ali Guerami, McKissack’s fertility specialist. “We have to make sure that their heart can accept it, and then we have to make sure the patient understands that when they’re older there’s much more chance you’ll have an operative procedure like a C-section.”
“It was a beating,” Thompson told The Dallas Morning News of her pregnancy. “It really was. It’s been many years since I’ve been pregnant.” Thompson’s oldest son is 30.
Still, Thompson told The Medical Center of Plano that she was grateful everything worked out. “It is such a blessing that I can do this for my daughter,” she said.